You’ve cheated on your husband, and the guilt is killing you!
Your union is important to you, and you definitely don’t want to lose the beautiful bond you share with your husband, but how do you save your marriage after a cheating incident?
Should you tell your husband? Is it wise to do so?
How do you break the news of your infidelity to your man without completely destroying your marriage?
Any sincere woman will have tons of questions begging for answers if she gets caught up in the web of extramarital affairs, so it is normal to feel the way you do now.
But first things first, slow down!
Cheating happens. Of course, not in all marriages, but infidelity seems to be on the rise in our modern society.
While statistics suggest that men are more likely to cheat than women, cheating has increased significantly among women over the past few decades.
Don’t take this the wrong way, though. Yes, more women are unfaithful these days, but that’s not in any way justifying infidelity.
However, if you’re searching ‘How to Save My Marriage after I Cheated on My Husband,’ you probably should pay close attention to the tips in this guide.
Your marriage doesn’t necessarily have to end because of an affair. And you don’t have to punish yourself forever for your mistake.
However, you must be willing to work extra hard if you’re hoping to regain your husband’s trust and rebuild your home. And that’s what I intend to help you accomplish with the tips below.
8 Tips on How to Save My Marriage After I Cheated On My Husband
A woman’s self-esteem will likely take a nose dive if her husband cheats on her. In an earlier post, I discussed the various ways a woman can be affected if cheated on.
However, if the table is flipped and you’re the guilty partner, here are some practical things you can do to save your marriage.
1. Acknowledge Your Responsibility
First, accept full responsibility for your actions. Your husband may have played a role, but the choice was ultimately yours.
You had the chance to say no at any point ― to stop yourself from giving in and resisting the temptation, but you decided to cheat anyway.
It is 100% your fault, period!
You must be accountable for your actions and never blame your spouse (or anyone else) for your own decisions and behavior.
If you can’t take full responsibility for your actions, healing, recovery, making things work, and preventing a reoccurrence will be difficult.
2. Cease All Contact With the Other Person
You must cut all contact with the other person you cheated on your husband with as soon as possible.
Staying in touch with the other person gives room for cheating to happen again, even if you don’t mean to. The only reason to stay in touch with the other person is if you want to end your marriage.
But if you’re truly sorry for cheating on your husband and want your union to survive the deadly blow, there’s no reason to continue seeing the other person or contacting them.
Delete your account if you met the other person online or through an app, and stop texting, emailing, or calling them.
It might be a lot easier to avoid the other person if it is a one-night stand. However, it can be tricky if the person is a co-worker (and more difficult if he is your boss!).
Still, you must avoid being around them as much as possible, especially in a one-on-one situation. If you must interact with the other person, keep things focused purely on business or seek a transfer if possible.
Whatever you do, avoid any lengthy private discussion with them (physically or electronically) in the guise of seeking closure. Simply let the other person know it is over, block them from your life, and maintain a no-contact rule.
3. Identify Why You Cheated On Your Husband
What do you feel is lacking in your marriage? Does it feel like you’re trapped in a rut? Or do you have unrealistic expectations of your husband? Perhaps the sexual spark is completely missing in your marriage, and you thought you could get it from someone else.
Figuring out answers to these is essential to understanding why you cheated in the first place.
Cheating can happen for a number of reasons, including:
- Lack of physical affection
- Disability, chronic illness, or mental health issues
- A lack of emotional intimacy
- Substance abuse or addiction
- A lack of sexual intimacy
- Physical separation for extended periods
- Give and take imbalance in the relationship
- Stress from external sources (like work or extended family)
This is a hard pill to swallow, but confessing your infidelity and apologizing won’t magically solve all the problems in your marriage. You might slip up again or be forced to endure an unsatisfactory marriage if the cause of infidelity is not identified and addressed.
Ending your marriage might be your best bet if your heart truly isn’t in it anymore.
You and your husband deserve partners that make them happy. And if one of you isn’t that partner, you’ll be doing yourself a disservice by recommitting to the marriage.
4. Come Clean
Coming clean is one of the most difficult aspects of mending your union after an affair. Yet, it is unavoidable if you want to be honest with your better half.
Cheating on your husband may be a mistake, but covering up infidelity is deception, not a mistake.
If you don’t come clean about something as weighty as having an affair, pretty soon, you’ll be hiding other things from your significant other and further compromising the health of your marriage.
Besides, sweeping the affair under the carpet may allow room for repeating the behavior and lead to multiple affairs.
No doubt, confessing can be tough, but consider the devastating effect it will have on your marriage if your husband were to find out on his own that you cheated on him.
That said, I recommend keeping the following in mind during your confession:
- Be intentional when you tell your husband about the mistake. Don’t just blurt it out during an emotional outburst. Instead, be calm during the confession.
- It is okay to tell your husband how long the affair went on, but avoid sharing nitty-gritty details of the affair or sexual act, even if your husband asks. Those details will live in your husband’s mind forever, and that’s not helpful.
- Your husband will be hurt ― that’s a given, so expect uncomfortable reactions, including tears, rage, or silence. Give him time to process the information and just follow his emotional lead.
5. Forgive Yourself
Asking how to save my marriage after I cheated on my husband is one thing; knowing how to save yourself is a whole different ballgame.
It’s difficult to live meaningfully with the burden of guilt, especially the emotional pain of infidelity.
Of course, you should be accountable for your actions, but self-blame is not the same as taking responsibility.
Unendingly blaming yourself doesn’t erase the past.
If anything, self-blame keeps the cheating incident active in your mind, so you’ll continue to re-live the pain. As you can imagine, this is the worse punishment you can ever dole out to yourself.
Your partner may forgive your mistake, but personal growth as the unfaithful spouse will be next to impossible if you don’t let yourself off the hook and seek forgiveness.
You must work hard to free yourself from the cheater’s guilt.
It is okay to feel better again after making a terrible mistake, so don’t punish yourself with daily guilt. Focus on your positive traits and give yourself some credit. At least you realize your mistake, feel sorry about the act, and want to make amends, which definitely counts for something.
If you’re having trouble forgiving yourself and letting go of the pain of your errors, I recommend reading this post for practical tips on moving on from guilt.
6. Seek Professional Counseling
Couples therapy or marriage counseling can help save your marriage at this point, especially if your husband’s behavior is largely responsible for your act of cheating.
For example, a professional can help address issues such as emotional distance, sexless marriage, chronic health problems, and more.
However, it is important to avoid blaming your husband for infidelity, as mentioned earlier.
Your betrayed partner may be willing to seek professional help with you. But if that’s not the case, do not prevent him from asking for help from those he trusts.
Remember, when trying to save your marriage after cheating, the situation is not about protecting your image but helping your husband maintain his sanity while processing your indiscretion.
7. Be Transparent
Think of trust like a glass; piecing it together to its former state is nearly impossible once it is broken. Gluing the broken pieces only fixes surface cracks. To get the exact glass again will require melting the pieces and rebuilding the glass.
In other words, the broken pieces must go through the fire!
That’s what it will take to regain your spouse’s trust and start rebuilding your family life. Be willing to go through fire to build trust again. This means being totally transparent and open about being the cheating partner. You will need to be even more honest than before the cheating incident.
Let your husband be aware of your social engagements and tell him who you’re meeting when you go out. If possible, adjust your social habits and try to bring him along when you need to spend time with friends.
Maintain regular contact with him and let him know your whereabouts if you’re staying out late. Try to answer his calls whenever possible, and reply to messages as soon as possible. You don’t want to keep him in the dark for any reason.
While this might seem like too much to do, it is essential when trying to rebuild trust. And it shows how committed you are to saving your marriage.
8. Set Realistic Expectations
Understand that your husband isn’t going to praise you for being honest, at least not initially.
Yes, it takes plenty of courage to come clean.
But that doesn’t make the shock of cheating less painful to bear, especially if you have a loyal spouse.
Give your spouse time to grieve and heal. He may become physically and emotionally withdrawn for a while, and that’s normal.
Don’t try to pressure him into moving past the incident too quickly. He has the right to process his emotions at his own pace.
Rebuilding trust will take time and serious effort, so give your husband all the time he needs to come around.
Your focus and attention should be on proving yourself once again by being patient. Avoid doing that suggests your marriage isn’t your top priority.
Be prepared to have ongoing communication, regardless of how difficult the conversations might be. Remember that other issues might arise from the situation ― keep an open mind as you openly and honestly address the issues together.
If the issues seem to be getting out of hand, it might be a good idea to involve a trusted family or friend. If that’s not feasible, consider asking for help from a marriage counselor.
Hopefully, you’ll find the tips in this article helpful if you googled How to Save My Marriage after I Cheated on My Husband.
But here’s something to keep in mind.
Saving a marriage after an affair is not always 100% guaranteed. Sadly, there is a chance that your union ― no matter how amazing it has been ― might not survive it.
However, most couples who are intentional about saving their marriage often come out on the other side of infidelity with stronger relationships.
The most important thing is approaching the situation with the right mindset. This means being truly remorseful in words and actions and putting in the required effort to save your marriage.